Stickhandling on One Foot for Balance and Core Strength
One-legged stickhandling drills directly improve the strength of your hands on the stick as well as balance and core strength.
NHL players like Pavel Datsyuk have sworn by this method for improving their dangles. This technique helps players like Datsyuk keep control of the puck even when they are off-balance and eluding defenders as they skate in full stride!
One-legged stickhandling training drills are an excellent way to improve your body control when dangling the puck away from opponents.
Practicing Balance on the Ice
When reviewing game tapes, hockey players are often surprised at how much of their stickhandling on the ice is actually performed with only one skate on the ice.
Therefore, the better balance you have when transitioning from one leg to the other as you skate, the better your puck control will be. The transfer of your body weight between legs as you handle the puck is essential to finessing tight dekes at full speed. Practicing any stickhandling drill on one leg is a key element to developing your overall hockey skill set.
Developing Core Strength for Hockey
Have you ever wondered how Datsyuk and other players like Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby are so elusive and shifty with the puck?
These players are tremendous skaters and have perfected the art of stickhandling at full speed while shifting their balance back and forth on each foot. They are equally adept at stickhandling in a tight space shifting their body as they turn defenders inside-out.
To reach this level of fluidity with the puck try this technique on the ice, or at home on your hockey practice board:
- With your balancing leg slightly bent at the knee, keep your head up and eyes forward as you feel the puck on your stick with only your hands.
- Work on expanding your range of motion and moving the puck further out from your body to simulate keeping the puck away from your opponents.
- Stickhandle on one leg for a set of time, like 15 seconds or as long as you can, then alternate legs.
Don’t worry if you lose balance, tapping your other foot to regain balance is fine.
As you get better, you’ll be able to stick handle and balance for longer periods.
Pro-Tip: Perform This Drill on Your SuperDeker
If you have a SuperDeker hockey training aid, you can make this drill a lot more fun.
Stand in front of the surface and play a 45 second game. At first you may not be able to balance the whole time, so you may choose to alternate which foot you are balancing on. While dangling, look for the target lights in your peripheral vision, only glancing down at the SuperDeker stick handling trainer when you need to.
Set goals for yourself like finishing a full SuperDeker game on the same foot. Or setting a high score and not having to use your other foot to steady yourself.
You will find that this exercise will become easier with time and repetition, especially as your core strength and balance begin to improve.
This age-old way of improving hockey stickhandling and overall puck control has been used in hockey puck training by players of all levels from Mini-Mites to NHL legends.
The best part about this technique is that it’s simple to add to your training routine and is a great way to amplify your stickhandling abilities at no cost to you!
Now add in the best off-ice hockey training tool on the market: SuperDeker, and for just a few minutes a day you can improve your stickhandling speed, quickness, and puck control!
Head over to SuperDeker.ca today to check out some more stickhandling tips and ways to incorporate them into your training routine!